Uganda’s Boda Boda: From a common bike ‘taxi’ to gangsters

January 25, 2018 - tonton

This week Uganda trended on amicable media outward a nation for a strangest of reasons.

Military Intelligence operatives and a UPDF carried out a array of operations opposite Boda Boda 2010, a rapist squad dependent to a Uganda police, and praised by troops arch Gen Kale Kayihura, for among other things, assisting to crackdown on a antithesis during several points.

Several Boda Boda 2010 leaders were arrested, and they were allegedly found with stolen property, including vehicles belonging to people, who had recently been murdered.

The suspicion that a troops is a champion of a rapist gang, and it requires other arms of a country’s confidence establishment, to understanding with it, is both fascinating and disturbing. This, deliberation that, in turn, both a leaders of a police, troops intelligence, and a army are right palm organisation of President Museveni.

The bigger problem is that a Uganda care is dependant to militias. From a Kiboko Squad to now Boda Boda 2010, in a final 20 years we have had about 30 militias, genocide squads, and quasi-official paramilitary organisations to understanding with a antithesis during and after elections, and to assistance put down insurgencies.

In a way, this is a good thing, since a leaders seem not to trust that a UPDF and a confidence agencies can be relied on 100 per cent to go totally local and narrow-minded each time, so a really unwashed work is subcontracted to militias and rapist gangs.

In a box of a police, one would have suspicion that a accordant bid over a final 15 years to militarise and politicise it would by now have incited it into a wanton arms of hang-up and domestic banditry, though it seems even that has not left distant enough. Hence a need for these Boda Boda 2010 form gangs.

There is an component of this that is asocial domestic calculation. If, for example, a boss relies too heavily on usually a army to keep him in power, with each narrow-minded deployment, his debt to them grows, and with time he becomes too gratified to them. This is what happened to Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

Using militias and gangs, allows a Big Man to discharge his eggs in several baskets. However, a formula are always disastrous, and can leave low scars on a country. Perhaps a many barbarous instance is a Tonton Macoutes, from that submissive nation Haiti.

We will leave we with a prolonged mislay from Wikipedia on a Macoute, for it speaks for itself. And it has supernatural parallels with what is function in Uganda:

“The Tonton Macoute, or simply a Macoute, was a special operations section within a Haitian paramilitary force combined in 1959 by tyrant François ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier.

“Papa Doc Duvalier combined a Tontons Macoutes since he viewed a troops to be a hazard to his power.

After a Jul 1958 Haitian manoeuvre d’état try opposite boss François Duvalier, he disbanded a army and all law coercion agencies in Haiti and executed countless officers as he viewed them as a hazard to his regime.

“To negate this threat, he combined a troops force that gimlet several names… They began to be called a Tonton Macoute when people started to disappear for no apparent reason. This organisation answered to him only.

“Duvalier certified a Tontons Macoutes to dedicate systematic assault and tellurian rights abuses to conceal domestic opposition. They were obliged for different numbers of murders and rapes in Haiti. Political opponents mostly left overnight, or were infrequently pounded in extended daylight.

“Tontons Macoutes befuddled and burnt people alive. Many times they put a corpses of their victims on display, mostly hung in trees for everybody to see and take as warnings opposite opposition. Family members, who attempted to mislay a bodies for correct funeral mostly left themselves. Anyone who challenged a MVSN risked assassination.

“Their wantonness state terrorism was accompanied by corruption, coercion and personal aggrandizement among a leadership. The victims of Tontons Macoutes could operation from a lady in a lowest of neighbourhoods, who had formerly upheld an hostile politician to a businessman who refused to approve with coercion threats…The Tontons Macoutes murdered between 30,000 and 60,000 Haitians.

“Luckner Cambronne led a Tonton Macoute via a 1960s and a commencement of a 1970s. His cruelty warranted him a nickname ‘Vampire of a Caribbean’.

“In 1971, boss Duvalier died and his widow Simone, and son Baby Doc Duvalier systematic Cambronne into exile.”

Then this: “The Tontons Macoutes were a entire participation during a polls in a 1961 election, in that Duvalier’s central opinion count was an ‘outrageous’ and fake 1,320,748 to 0, electing him to another term. They seemed in force again during polls in 1964, when Duvalier hold a fraudulent referendum that announced him President for Life.”

You held that final bit?

Mr Onyango-Obbo is a publisher of Africa information visualiser and explainer site


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